North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO1 2017

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/936087

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 7 ) • N U M B E R 1 81 T E X A S et al.). A Short-tailed Hawk was described from the Davis Mountains Preserve, Jeff Davis 14 Aug (†SG, †GC, BlC). A dark-morph bird was also documented in the Chisos Moun - tains, Brewster 14 Aug (ph. EC, MaC) that might have been the individual present in the spring and summer. A young Swainson's Hawk was still at Anahuac N.W.R., Chambers on the late date of 22 Nov (ph. JMa). White- tailed Hawks are perhaps slowly pushing northward. Outliers include 2 near Calvert, Robertson 23 Sep (ph. AMa), one w. of Brack - ettville, Kinney 31 Oct (BrC, KaB), one n. of Granger Lake, Bell/Williamson 31 Oct–1 Nov (ph. RPi, m.ob.) and another much farther out of range, w. of Tarzan, Martin 20 Nov (ph. DB, LB). A Zone-tailed Hawk was locat - ed at Aransas N.W.R., Calhoun 18 Sep (RW). A Golden Eagle graced the Smith Point Hawk Watch, Chambers 8 Nov (ph. JTh, BBa, WB). Completely unexpected and only the sec- ond for the state, a Spotted Rail initially found in a dog's mouth at Victoria, Victoria 17 Oct (ph. TS) was successfully rehabili- tated and released a couple days later. One Common Gallinule at the Aiken Playa, Floyd 29 Aug (NP) and 4 Common Gallinules seen near Cedar Hill, Floyd 4 Nov (AK, NP) were reassuring, as the species has disappeared from the only regular breeding site in the re- gion. A Sandhill Crane near Damon, Brazo- ria 2 Sep had an injured wing and may have over-summered (BO). During its typical mi- gration window through central Texas, one Whooping Crane was detected over Lago Vista, Travis 25 Oct (BHa, RH) while 5 were over Stillhouse Hollow Res., Bell 29 Oct (GE). Along the coast, Whooping Cranes were slightly out of place at Port Aransas, 26 Oct (ph. MMo), near Bishop, Nueces 11-13 Nov (CC, ph. m.ob.), and in Cameron 5-7 Nov (RPi, KO et al.). The Whooping Cranes at Brazoria N.W.R., Brazoria 29 Oct+ (DwL, m.ob.) were from the experimental flock from Louisiana. SHOREBIRDS THROUGH TERNS Noteworthy counts of Black-necked Stilts occurred at Richland Creek W.M.A., 26 Aug–7 Sep, with a total of 95 on the Free- stone side 2 Sep (MB) for the highest histori - cal count for the Central Brazos Valley. Thir- ty American Avocets at Lake Limestone, Leon 24 Aug (RN) made for a nice find. Rare in the El Paso area, a Black-bellied Plover was at Ft. Hancock, Hudspeth 25 Aug (BZ); quite late were 3 at the Haskell County Lakes, Haskell 8 Nov (BlC, GC, SG). Fall American Golden-Plovers are always nice and this sea- son singles were near Calvert, Robertson 8 Sep (AMa), at Wolf Springs Sod Farm, Dallas through the central Pineywoods, therefore 2 sighted at Alazan Bayou W.M.A., Nacogdoches 4 Sep (DWo) were noteworthy. A Glossy Ibis was a great find near Floydada, Floyd 30 Sep (ph. JBo). Quite late were 15 White-faced Ibises near Claude, Armstrong 23 Nov (BBr). Late and deep into the Pineywoods was a Roseate Spoonbill at Alazan Bayou W.M.A., Nacogdoches 8 Nov (RTr, DWo). VULTURES THROUGH CRANES Puzzling was a fledgling Black Vulture brought to a rehabber near Amarillo, Potter 21 Oct (fide RoL); the species is considered accidental in that region at all times of year. At the extreme western outpost for Black Vulture in the state, a remarkable 10 were near McNary Res., Hudspeth 11 Aug (GC) with one 19 Sep (BZ) and a very late sick or injured bird 23 Nov (ph. JiP). A Turkey Vul - ture over Ozona, Crockett 24 Nov (ML) was lingering later than expected. An Osprey at Ascarate Park, El Paso 25 Nov (JK) was late. Far-flung Swallow-tailed Kites included one over Lake Waxahachie, Ellis 25 Aug (TDr), another in Fort Worth, Tarrant 30 Aug (EWi), and one more at Davis Mountains S.P. Jeff Da - vis 4 Sep (JBu) for a rare Trans-Pecos occur- rence. Casual in North-Central Texas was an apparent county first White-tailed Kite along Hwy. 175, Kaufman 21 Nov (PB). Single Mis - sissippi Kites at Smith Point, Chambers 21 & 22 Oct were later than typical (SPHW staff). A Bald Eagle at Port Aransas, Nueces 8 Nov (ph. RTo) provided the first barrier island re - cord for the Coastal Bend (fide MeC); another was seen along a Jim Wells roadside 31 Oct (ph. MeC). Unusually early was a Northern Harrier at Richland Creek W.M.A., Navarro 26 Aug (MB). Lone Gray Hawks away from known nesting areas were spotted at Presi - dio, Presidio 4 Sep (ML, FY) and at Indepen- dence Creek Preserve, Terrell 4-5 Sep (ByS, trels were seen in unprecedented numbers on these pelagic trips, i.e. 6 birds on 8 Aug (ph. DJ, AMo et al.), up to 92 birds on 29 Aug (†ph. RK et al.), and 3 on 19 Aug (ph. JO et al.). Most prior state records referred to single birds. Wood Storks gathered in high numbers at Richland Creek W.M.A. begin - ning 23 Aug with a maximum of 60 on the Freestone side 5 Sep (DeL, DDC, BeS, BW) and 76 on the Navarro side the same day (BT); a group of 50 se. of Thrall, Williamson 4 Oct (TFe) was both a high count and a late report for c. Texas. A latish Magnificent Frig - atebird was near the Convention Center at South Padre I., Cameron 17 Nov (ph. MBS). Lightning struck twice when a juv. Brown Booby showed up at Windy Point, Lake Tra - vis, Travis 8 Oct+ (ph. EB, m.ob.) in the same area where an ad. was present the previous fall. A Brown Booby returned to the Baytown Nature Center, Harris 14-21 Nov (ph. JRa, et al.). A dead Brown Pelican was unexpected at New Braunfels, Comal 29 Nov (ph. EL). An American Bittern at Lake Sam Rayburn, San Augustine 12 Sep (DWo) was early. On the Llano Estacado, where American Bittern is casual at best during migration, 6 differ - ent birds were found in Hockley, Lubbock, and Motley 9 Oct–13 Nov (m. ob.). An American Bittern was also a good find at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso 16-29 Oct (ph. JSp, GiV). One Least Bittern, perhaps a breeder, was at Lubbock, Lubbock 30 Aug (AH). An - other wandered w. to Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 4-14 Aug (LR, m.ob.), while one at the Bay - town Nature Center, Harris 27 Nov was late (ToM). A Tricolored Heron was west of its typical range at McNary Res., Hudspeth 30 Aug (JiP). Far-flung, inland Reddish Egrets include singles at Hagerman N.W.R., Grayson 21 Sep (ph. LL) and at Lake Colorado City S.P., Mitchell 3 Oct+ (ph. KO). Black-crowned Night-Heron is a rarely-found migrant Pied-billed Grebe is a very irregular breeding species in the central Trans-Pecos, making a pair that successfully fledged young at Balmorhea S.P., Reeves of interest. However, this nesting attempt took place in November (here 22). Photo by © Mark W. Lockwood.

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